Online shopping may be on the rise, but it’s also in desperate need of an overhaul.
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As reported by The New York Times in early 2021, 2020 e-commerce rates climbed 33.6%. While internet shopping has undoubtedly been bolstered by lockdowns linked to the pandemic, it has grown in popularity. Figures recovered from 2014 show a constant increase in online shopping globally – and projections look sound for years to come.
Here’s the problem, though: While online shopping has become a beloved trend for over a decade, it comes with disappointing drawbacks. Yes, the current processes that most traders use are working, but they don’t work seamlessly. Honestly, if you’ve ever made a purchase online, you know you might end up doing some awkward trick.
The main weak points of electronic commerce, defined
What are the biggest pain points involved in too many e-commerce exchanges? Ask a dozen clients and you will probably get that many answers. However, most fall into three main categories: annoyance, snail speed, and device-specific hiccups.
As for the cons, is nothing more important than the process of tracking countless logins and logging into shopping portals? These are the headaches that consumers are asking to be resolved. Not many people like to fill out forms over and over.
What happens when a site forces a buyer to enter tons of characters or switch between screens? This is where speed – or rather the lack of it – comes in. The more information you need to make a purchase, the slower the overall journey. Add to that the possibility of an unexpected and obnoxious “session expired” message, and you have a real hair-pulling experience.
The last “main pain” that haunts traditional online shopping is not being able to move your shopping accounts between devices. For example, have you purchased any items on your iPhone? Great, as long as future purchases with the same company are on the same iPhone.
But what happens when you try to pay for something on your tablet? Suddenly, the site sees you as a brand new customer. In other words, you are forced to find the username and password stored on your iPhone or just go with the old âI’m a guestâ fallback.
Unsurprisingly, all of these frustrations create a storm of problems for buyers. So naturally these issues lead to unpleasant results for online sellers.
Fallout from online shopping snags
Widespread abandonment of shopping carts is one of the most prevalent issues arising from barriers to online shopping. After purchases are dismissed, many shoppers never return, even after receiving reminders or specials from merchants keen to bring potential buyers with abandoned carts to the finish line.
Remember: consumers forgive, but only up to a point. We all raised our hands in exasperation and said, “I will never buy from this store again!” Whether or not these temper tantrums are long term or not, they have a negative short term effect on the merchant’s immediate sales.
These are detrimental consequences for businesses, especially small businesses and upstart businesses trying to compete online. They also highlight the need for innovative new payment methods that facilitate e-commerce exchanges and bypass tedious online shopping transactions.
Online shopping, made easy
So what’s a peek in the crystal ball of online shopping? First, this is good news for all stakeholders. Many entrepreneurial-minded entities and thought leaders are discussing ways to reduce the exasperation of digital shopping. In addition, some solutions are coming to the fore, including one from FIS Impact Labs, which is the internal innovation machine of the fintech giant FIS.
FIS Impact laboratories have recently been introduced GoCart, a portal that aims to explain why customers report online payments. As Ashleigh DePopas, head of GoCart, explained in previous interviews, âOne in two American consumers were so dissatisfied with current payment solutions that they would happily switch to something more ubiquitous and frictionless, despite a myriad of options available. “Knowing that this was not going to change because Tech savvy Generation Z became even more of a buying force, DePopas, and her teammate dove into creating a one-stop-shop solution.
Admittedly, Generation Z is not the only generational cohort to be behind the increase in online payment behavior. Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers are also jumping on the digital wallet bandwagon. B2C and B2B vendors are also trying to find a way to streamline growing purchasing practices such as Buy It Now, Pay On On (BNPL).
In fact, BNPL does not quite work with traditional shopping carts. Nonetheless, it is a convenient way to move goods, so sellers are eager to find a way to make all trading, including BNPL, hassle-free.
E-commerce friction points eliminated
So what are some ways to bring convenience, speed, and device agnosticism (aka, a âhassle-freeâ interface) to the online shopping experience?
1. Unique and personalized accounts
American consumers overwhelmingly prefer to have a single trustworthy shopping account rather than a series of them. That is, they wanted to be able to have a single account portal with all their purchasing information in a centralized and quickly accessible format.
In this way, online shoppers can store their financial and other data in one place, eliminating the need for constant connections and data input. Plus, with just one account, buyers can stop being blocked by annoying logins, captchas, and digital roadblocks.
2. Immediate and secure recovery of personal information
Merchants must have access to relevant customer purchasing information to complete payments. But customers prefer not to enter and re-enter their personal information every time they buy from a new supplier.
Consumers need a place where their information can be stored and transferred instantly and securely to a supplier when a transaction is initiated. While it can happen behind the scenes without requiring additional steps, buyers can pay in seconds and move on.
3. Online shopping on any device or platform
Modern customers rarely use one device for all of their purchases. Some buy certain items, such as groceries or clothing, through their phone. Others like to shop on a laptop or desktop computer with a larger screen. In addition, many customers would like to use SMS more often as a shopping platform.
A shopping system that people can use with almost any digital device in most settings will remove common barriers customers face when trying to complete their orders.
Main benefits for early adopters of new online shopping technology
As more and more technologies enter the online shopping arena, all stakeholders would be wise to âtestâ early. For example, from the customer’s perspective, finding a better way to shop digitally means less time to worry about digital payments. It can also encourage them to try new suppliers and to spread their wealth more widely.
Companies that adopt an âearly adopterâ mentality are positioning themselves to become leaders in online payment. This can be especially useful for organizations in industries that need digital control upgrades, like so many others in the food industry. Too often, restaurant e-commerce payment choices don’t work well or work on all devices. As a result, some customers may be reluctant to purchase meals and snacks online, even at their favorite restaurants.
Another value for businesses that are becoming the first to adopt emerging online payment solutions is the ability to reduce their cart abandonment rates. By removing their consumers’ strongest objections to leaving products in their digital shopping carts, merchants can improve conversions.
The future: will advanced payment processes go beyond e-commerce?
While people have designed products like GoCart as answers to the most difficult online shopping and payment problems, they may have applications beyond e-commerce. Take, for example, the financial sector.
In numerous reports, the owner of MerdianLink and Digital Banking Report, Jim Marous, has published The Future of Digital Lending. The results of their surveys of over 300 financial institutions showed that the industry as a whole desire for more modern mobile interfaces. Already, 54% of survey participants said they offer mobile loan applications. However, the massive adoption of digital loans is still in its infancy.
Innovative online shopping solutions could be useful as stepping stones to change the way consumers apply for personal (or business) loans or to speed up sticking points in the classic approval application process. Additionally, as Marous noted, âMore and more financial institutions are turning to technology providers like MeridianLink to deliver the latest digital experiences to their customers. “
And the latest digital experiences may well include innovations poised to revolutionize the consumer market.
Without a doubt, banking has become customer-centric, according to sites like the Wall Street Journal. Therefore, it would make sense for the financial sector to reflect some of the progress made by online checkout innovators in other areas such as retail and food service.
There is no doubt that an e-commerce transformation has been on the horizon for some time. Now, it looks like consumers are finally going to fulfill their wishes for a fast, intuitive and, most importantly, secure online shopping experience.
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